After battling what must have been the most challenging task of her political life, to get her name on the ballot for next week’s General Election, Ms Faith Gitau, who is seeking to be Nyandarua County’s next woman representative, is not off the hook yet.
This is because the Jubilee Party has to shake off stiff competition from two rivals, who incidentally hail from her Ndaragwa home constituency.
The opponents who also want to unseat incumbent Wanjiku Muihia are Ms Esther Maina who is running as an Independent and Ms Monica Mucheke of Maendeleo Chap Chap.
Ms Gitau got the Jubilee Party ticket after fighting off nine court battles between her and the outgoing Woman Rep Ms Muhia. The County MP started off by contesting the outcome of party primaries at Jubilee headquarters before escalating the battle to the court of Appeal where she lost.
Ms Gitau, a seasoned politician is facing a stiff challenge from the two new comers.
A former United Nations employee, Ms Gitau resigned to contest Ndaragwa MP seat in 2007 but lost to Mr Jeremiah Kioni.
She tried her luck in woman rep contest in 2013 but lost to Ms Muhia.
However, Ms Gitau is confident of a win in the August 8 elections, buoyed by the popularity of her Jubilee Party in Nyandarua and the region.
Her critics have been accusing her of not campaigning aggressively on winning the court battles and the ticket, which gave her rivals and especially Ms Mucheke, a field day to traverse the county and mount massive campaigns.
Ms Maina, a former marketing manager with Njata Television Network also emerged from the woods to further complicate the equation.
Ms Maina resigned from permanent employment to engage in farming. She has been using her farming and marketing experiences as a platform to seek votes.
What could be worrying Ms Gitau more, with just about five days to the elections, is the emerging cooperation between Ms Mucheke and other candidates running as independents, quite often sharing campaign platforms.
Independent candidates are turning out to be a threat having 84 members of county assembly aspirants, 11 parliamentary candidates, one woman rep aspirant, a senator and two gubernatorial candidates, compared to Jubilee’s 25 MCAs, five MP’s, a governor, woman rep and a senator, candidates.
Ms Gitau’s is making every effort to recover time lost after the Jubilee primaries.
She has also been campaigning hard for re-election of Jubilee Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and a and the party’s other candidates. She also has an advantage of having Jubilee campaign resources at her disposal.
Ms Mucheke is a marketer by profession and security consultant.
Though a new comer in politics and a late comer in the race, Ms Mucheke says the reason she went “unnoticed” is that she was not in the Jubilee party primaries.
“I was on the ground, I have interacted with the majority of voters. My key pledges are accessibility, I will open offices in all the five constituencies to make my office visible and accessible to the community,” says Ms Mucheke.
Her other campaign tool is on equitable distribution of affirmative action resources and prudent management of the same.
She is among the candidates from small parties friendly to Jubilee, jointly conducting her campaigns with independent candidates, who are ensure they strategically complement each other.
On her part, Ms Maina says her empowerment programs will start at the family level targeting food security.
“I will work with established partners to have each home have a kitchen garden. Vegetables and fruits consume the bulk of family budget leading to controllable capital flight. On the bigger picture, I will sponsor an agricultural bill in Parliament compelling the government to support agricultural innovations by the young people,” says Ms Maina.
She says agriculture has the potential to create thousands of jobs, but doing it the traditional way is not appetizing to the youth.
“We must move to digitalised methods of farming to encourage the youth,” said Ms Maina.
Other constituencies in Nyandarua are Kinangop, Ol Joro Orok, Ol Kalau and Kipipiri constituencies.